Official site of 
Dr. Nirmala Deshpande


October 17th 1929 - May 1st 2008

Didi's Vision

 I first met Didi, when I went to invite her for a peace conference. I was surprised to see such a diminutive frame packed with immense energy and enthusiasm. This was way back in the late 90s. She had such a magnetic personality that she drew us closer and closer to her. One day during a course of a casual conversation, I asked her what her dream was, she paused and then smiled. Then very gently said, "I want to make the Gandhi Ashram at Kingsway Camp, Delhi into a Peace Centre where people, scholars of all walks of life will come stay, contribute and rejuvenate themselves. " She went on to say that this place is such a holy place that she had seen an old Sikh gentleman come everyday to the Ashram and pick up the dust from the grounds and smear it on his forehead. She observed this everyday, one day she asked this person why he was doing this, he laughed at her ignorance and said," dear girl, don't you know the great Mahatma walked on these very premises barefoot? This is a very holy piece of land and it is like a place of worship for me." So, she always had a dream for the Gandhi Ashram to develop into a hub of peace studies and a centre for conflict resolution for the entire world. Subsequently, she called me after a couple of months and asked me if I could help her to fulfill this dream? She went on to say, "If I do not do this then Gandhi ji will never forgive me." Then there was no looking back. In 2004 Gandhi Ashram Reconstruction Trust was registered led by Didi and we started working on her noble dream. Today, I am blessed that she touched our lives and guided us and showed us the path of Gandhi ji. We will continue to work to develop the Ashram and take her message and vision across to the whole world, as she said, "Jai Jagat." (Victory to the World).

She is the last of the dedicated Gandhians and her loss is mourned by India as a great blow to peace initiatives.  Although she is no more I still feel her energy guiding us. Like Gandhi ji and Vinobha ji, she was a woman of action. Her recent favourite phrase was "Lage Raho" meaning just keep going! Our best tribute would be to keep her legacy alive by adhering to her vision of positivity and action.

May her soul rest in peace.

Vivek Sharma
(Managing Trustee)
Gandhi Ashram Reconstruction Trust


                                                                    Photographs                                 Download
                Didi's Photograph 1
Didi's Photograph 2 


H.E. President Of India
Vice President of India, Shri Hamid Ansari
Governor, Orissa - Shri Murlidhar. C Bhandare
Governor, Karnataka - Shri Rameshwar Thakur
Governor, Maharashtra -Shri Umesh Kashikar
Deputy Chairman Rajya Sabha - K. Rahman Khan
Speaker,Lok Sabha-Shri Somnath Chatterjee
Shri Shyam Benegal, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
Shri Rabi Ray, Former Speaker, Lok Sabha
Minister of External Affairs-Shri Pranab Mukherjee
Minister for Information & Broadcasting - Shri Priyaranjan Dasmunshi
Minister for Tribal Affairs-Shri Kyundiah
Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu- Shri M. Karunanidhi
Mr.Ji Ping, Dy. Director General. Communist Party of China
Ambassador of France in India -Jerome BONNAFONT
Dr. Ejaz Ali, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
Mr. Jayanti Lal Barot, Former Member of Parliament
Chairman Harijan Sevak Sangh, Andhra Pradesh- Shri Chennupati Vidya
Chairman Harijan Sevak Sangh-Gujarat-Shri Ishwar Bhai Patel
All India Mahila Congress
Jamaat e Islami Hind
Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh-Shri C. Sudarshan
Senator Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan
Shri Rajmohan Gandhi
Edhi Foundation - Janab Abdul Satar Edhi & Begum Bilquis Edhi, Pakistan
Mr. Sadanand Ward Mailliard, Sri Ram Centre California
Randy Taran, The Dalai Lama Foundation
John Siliphant, Be the Change, USA
Prof. Pema Gyalpo, Japan
Rev. Myoe Nakashima, Bodai Isshinji Temple, Okayama, Japan
Prof. Dr. Primitivo D. Chua, Honorary Advisor, AMDA International 
Dr. Pashupati Regmi, Chairperson, AMDA-Nepal
Dr. S. Kamath, Chairperson, AMDA-India
Dr. Husni Tanra, AMDA, Indonesia
Smt. Kamala Ratnam
Garfield Lindsay Miller, USA
Dinesh & Indira Chandra, USA
R. K. Rao, Cambridge

Himanshu Priyadarshi, from Georgia, USA

 CYDA, Pakistan
Shrikumar Poddar, USA
Mirza Aslam Beg,  Pakistan
 Dr. Riffat Hassan, Pakistan
Association of Peoples of Asia
Arun Wakhlu, Pragati Foundation    
Smt Khem Lata Wakhlu, M.L.A. & Dr Omkar Nath Wakhlu, Srinagar
Music4Peace, Tobias Huber, Switzerland
Kreddha, The Netherlands
Sudhanshu Priyadarshi, PepsiCo, Inc USA
Alexander Kadakin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation
Ranjan Dey, Compassionate Chef, USA
Dr. Ravi Kalia, New York
Tenpa Samkhar
Akhil Bharatiya Anuvrath Nyaas
Prasar Bharti
Acharya Mahapragya
Deendayal Research Institute
Dr. Gurcharan Lal Bhatia
Nishkaamsevi Samman Samithi
Burmese pro-democracy movement in India


Memorial Services

Harijan Sevak Sangh, Kingsway Camp, Delhi 11:00am, May 4, 2008

FICCI - 5th May, 2008, 12:00 noon, FICCI Auditorium, New Delhi

Shrikumar Poddar, USA,

7 pm Tues, May 6, 2008
East Lansing Public Library,
950 Abbot RoadLibrary Lane East Lansing, Michigan 48823

India Pakistan Soldiers Initiative
 Leela Kempinski, Mumbai, May 12, 2008

Rajghat Committee, Akhil Bharatiya Rachnatmak Samaj & Gandhi Ashram Reconstruction Trust
7:30am, at Rajghat, May 13, 2008